Nan via Nam Pat to Chiang Khan

Jan 13, 2006
As usual I enjoyed Nan very much again. It has really become my favourite town in Thailand. There is enough tourist infrastructure to make life easy, but it is still a very thai town, with interesting buildings (have you ever seen the old king’s residence all in teak?) and beautiful temples. And last not least: the surrounding!! As many have said before me: a biker’s paradise.
And I tell you, repeating some tours there is by no means boring.
Among others I did my favourite trip to Rom Klao again. I don’t need to write about that, since David has done this in an earlier post so perfectly with even giving an elevation profile. See ... rms=jacket .
Going back to Nan I wanted to make it a round trip, so I went down on 1243 to Huai Son which looks rather easy on the map. But there instead of going all the way to Nam Muap, I tried to make it shorter on the 4020 (according to David’s map). Well, maybe I just missed the right way at one point, but it became a real odyssee. I think there were about 10 crossings, where I had to ask every time (…to Nan?), I could not believe how many small roads are in this area (btw all paved). If you want to get to know the countryside there, just try it, in the end it was fun.
For the way back to Nong Khai I chose a way, a part of which “cdrw” has described in his report ... rms=jacket.
So I will just write a few words. I rode down to Pak Nai, you may want to stop at the Earth Pillars at Sao Din, but though you don’t pay money there you pay with a lot of sweat, since it is treeless and like in a baking oven – well, some may think it is worth it.
I did not have the luck as CDRW to use the big ferry. I was standing there at the boat landing and there was nothing for a while but then the bush drums in this village had made a little barge to come consisting of 2 small longtail boats with a wooden platform between them, just to have a motorbike standing on it. Did not look too comforting, particularly since the female skipper was continuously pouring water overboard. Well I made it to the other side, where it turned out that the road was brand new, raising the hope that everything was done, but there are still 2 pieces, after about 30km for 3 km very bad and then the last 7 km before Nam Pat just bad. As Slash has written in an earlier report: Nobody will ever understand why they leave these short pieces undone of an otherwise excellent road.
Nam Pat is a sleepy town which does not see many tourists, but has a comfortable hotel, where I got an excellent bungalow with everything, AC, fridge, TV and even breakfast for 350B.
There is another quite nice piece of road across the mountains on 1239 until it meets the 1268 leading to Na Haeo. From there I took the same way back to Nong Khai as I have described in the first part of my trip report only breaking it up in Chiang Khan. And believe me it was not boring to ride this way a second time.
There is just one piece of description I want to add: it is the detour which Captain Slash has suggested to avoid the potholes in the 2195 near Ch. K. Well, I had problems to “read” it backwards, so for all as stupid as me: some km after Ban Pak Huai you come to a crossing at a military post. Just follow the sign “Chiang Khan 50km” to the right, this is the new 2195. The old one following the river is straight on, but it starts already there with plenty of potholes.
After 27km on the new 2195 you come to a crossing, go to the right, not straight into the village where you would meet the old 2195, which they are just starting to repair.
Drive another about 1,5km until in a village a brand new road forks off to the left. Stay on this one for some 7-8 km, first it gets smaller and then becomes a concrete road for the last km. At a T-junction turn to the right and you will cross a long bridge after about 100m. This road brings you to the 201, there to left and after 5km on this busy road you are in Ch.K.